When it comes to online visibility, what you do on other websites is just as important as the things you do on your own website.
I’m talking about the importance of off-page SEO. These are activities that take place outside your website to improve your site’s rankings on the search engine pages, such as link-building and guest blogging. In other words, off-page SEO is everything else in the world of SEO that doesn’t involve updating or publishing content to your own website.
But there’s much more to off-page SEO than many people realise. In this article, we take a deep dive into this crucial aspect of digital marketing and offer up some tried-and-tested tips that will drive traffic to your website and help it climb up the rankings, alongside your on-page SEO.
Off-page signals basically tell Google, Bing and other search engines what others think of your website. They demonstrate that your website is authoritative, relevant and trustworthy and they build your site’s domain authority. The more comprehensive your off-page strategy, the greater the likelihood that the search engines will prioritise your content.
Some of the more common off-page tactics for building a brand’s online presence are:
Your goal should be to gain links from high-authority sites, with the focus on the quality of the link itself rather than the number of links. High-authority links are like a tick of approval, akin to saying ‘I trust you’.
Don’t be tempted by risky black-hat hacks and shortcuts like buying links or participating in a link exchange. Stick to white-hat SEO techniques that are approved by the search engines and which won’t jeopardise your standing.
In addition to your efforts to acquire quality backlinks, you also need to do the following:
Top tip: Make getting a diverse backlink profile a key focus of your strategy. Google actually puts more credence on the variety of quality root domains that link to your website than on the number of backlinks themselves.
Content marketing is as much a feature of off-page SEO as it is of on-page SEO. Distributing, sharing, and publishing content via channels other than your own website is a key element of off-page SEO. And it’s not limited to online channels either. Having a piece published in print, eg a media release or an article on an industry website, is extremely valuable in building your and your brand’s authority.
Content marketing is very much a part of your brand’s marketing and PR efforts. It really amounts to creating excellent content and alerting people to it. Your ultimate aim is to get that content published externally before recycling it back to your own blog.
The search engines want to see how people interact with your site. Do they recommend your site to their friends? Do they link their own content to your site? Your content marketing strategy will influence your rankings in the SERPs, so it’s worth spending time and resources on it.
Put yourself in your target audience’s shoes. What would they be interested in? Have you any news to tell them? Answers to questions they may be asking? Helpful guidelines or commentary on industry trends? Can you create a compelling infographic with your data? What about a case study or a survey?
And once you’ve got a piece of golden content, you need to get it out there. Reddit, Twitter, Facebook groups, media outlets and paid ads are all good ways of promoting your content. When people reference it and share it on social media, it can become a great way of generating links back to your website. Always remember to follow the rules of the site, otherwise you’ll do more harm than good.
Links are a priority, but you also want to inform your target audience about your brand and its benefits which will hopefully result in heightened engagement and loyalty – and sales!
Proven off-page content marketing tactics include:
Top tip: Find out what your competitors’ best-performing topics are, then write content that is better than theirs.
Guest blogging can direct more traffic to your website, improve your domain authority and result in more backlinks. But it’s not about simply shooting off a thinly disguised ad for your business or product to any old site that accepts guest posts. You need a carefully planned, well thought-out strategy in which you pitch well-written, original, relevant and useful content to a credible website.
Ideally, you should aim to have your content published on external sites that have a high domain authority, a good page ranking and which attract a solid amount of traffic. You should always research the site before submitting a request to contribute content.
A good way to get started with guest blogging is to search for “Your keyword” along with phrases like “write for us”, “guest contributor”, “accepts guest posts”, “submit an article” etc. The results should reveal sites in your industry niche that accept guest posts. You can also contact the website owner or blog editor directly.
While the primary aim of guest posting is link-building (either in the article itself or in your author bio), there are other benefits too.
Top tip: Always be genuine, write from personal experience if you can and comment on other posts or articles, but make sure you’re adding value to readers.
It’s not just the year of video, it’s the decade of video. With over 2.6 billion active users on YouTube and over a quarter of the world’s population using YouTube every month, it’s easy to see why this medium is such a valuable marketing resource for businesses.
A great video can deliver a high return on investment and from an off-site SEO perspective, can generate a large number of links for a website – including ones from reputable domains.
Top tip: Embed videos on your top-ranking pages. Readers will be more likely to see you as an authoritative and engaging source.
According to SmartInsights, in January 2022, 4.62 billion people around the world were using social media with 424 million new users coming online within the past year. And although Google says it doesn’t take social shares into consideration with regards to rankings, your social networks play a really valuable role in reaching your target audience, engaging with them and encouraging them to visit your website.
Your social media channels (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest etc) are your connections to existing and potential customers. Use them as your broadcasting service to tell your brand story, engage with people, answer questions and address issues, offer up useful ideas, introduce new concepts and so on. The more attention your socials get, the greater your ability to attract links and mentions. A robust social media presence which includes regular posting of useful content on your social feed is an important off-page SEO tactic, so be an attention-seeker and see what it does for your website’s EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust).
Top tip: Integrate hashtags into your social media campaign. They help your posts get more reach (and hopefully more leads) and make it easier for people to find your content – but remember to always choose them wisely and use them purposefully.
Podcasting is a rapidly growing industry with an ever-increasing number of people relying on this medium for entertainment, education and news.
Podcasts can help your brand connect more deeply with your existing customers and reach new audiences. They’re a great way to share your expertise and raise your profile, plus they can be an effective means of expanding your link building and improving your rankings in search results.
When you do a podcast, it’s a good idea to convert the audio into text. You can then leverage this write-up into an additional off-page SEO opportunity by publishing it in a blog format.
Top Tip: Show up as an interview source on a popular podcast.
In addition to the six common off-page tactics listed above, these are some other off-page ways that smart website operators are boosting their online visibility:
This article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to off-page SEO and how crucial it is for every online business that takes its digital visibility seriously. If you’re just starting out check out my FREE SEO Starter Kit and if you’d like to learn more about this topic and get hands-on advice and insider tips from an SEO specialist, check out The SEO School.
The SEO School is the most comprehensive SEO Course to help Google – and your customers – find your business online, quickly and easily and if you’re serious about SEO, you should check it out.
If you found this post useful then also try out: Why You Need To Register A .au Domain Name For Your Business and What Every Business Should Know About WordPress Website Maintenance
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